• Mad and Bad

  • Real Heroines of the Regency
  • By: Bea Koch
  • Narrated by: Rengin Altay
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Mad and Bad  By  cover art

Mad and Bad

By: Bea Koch
Narrated by: Rengin Altay
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Publisher's Summary

Discover a feminist pop history that looks beyond the Ton and Jane Austen to highlight the Regency women who succeeded on their own terms and were largely lost to history - until now.

Regency England is a world immortalized by Jane Austen and Lord Byron in their beloved novels and poems. The popular image of the Regency continues to be mythologized by the hundreds of romance novels set in the period, which focus almost exclusively on wealthy, White, Christian members of the upper classes.

But there are hundreds of fascinating women who don't fit history books' limited perception of what was historically accurate for early 19th-century England. Women like Dido Elizabeth Belle, whose mother was a slave but was raised by her White father's family in England; Caroline Herschel, who acted as her brother's assistant as he hunted the heavens for comets and ended up discovering eight on her own; Anne Lister, who lived on her own terms with her common-law wife at Shibden Hall; and Judith Montefiore, a Jewish woman who wrote the first English-language kosher cookbook.

As one of the owners of the successful romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, Bea Koch has had a front-row seat to controversies surrounding what is accepted as "historically accurate" for the wildly popular Regency period. Following in the popular footsteps of books like Ann Shen's Bad Girls Throughout History, Koch takes the Regency, one of the most loved and idealized historical time periods and a huge inspiration for American pop culture, and reveals the independent-minded, standard-breaking real historical women who lived life on their terms. She also examines broader questions of culture in chapters that focus on the LGBTQ and Jewish communities, the lives of women of color in the Regency, and women who broke barriers in fields like astronomy and paleontology. In Mad and Bad, we look beyond popular perception of the Regency into the even more vibrant, diverse, and fascinating historical truth.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Bea Koch (P)2020 Grand Central Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"This is not the Regency you thought you knew! Bea Koch's Mad and Bad is an important and enlightening new look at this classic era." (Maya Rodale, bestselling author of historical romance)

"Bea Koch's Mad and Bad is a marvelous work of joyful feminist triumph that paints a nuanced picture of the British Regency era as women experienced it. From Caroline Lamb to Annie Lister to Mary Seacole, Koch's lovingly rendered biographies illuminate fascinating narratives of power, inequity, ambition, and passion. What a gift to have at our fingertips this excellent archive of mad, bad heroines, all of whom demand bother remembrance and careful study. I will return to its pages often, grateful for the historical tapestry Koch has gracefully woven." (Rachel Vorona Cote, author of Too Much)

"Bea Koch presents a welcome assessment of the various forms of power and agency that women could wield in the male-dominated society of Regency England." (Roy and Lesley Adkins, authors of Jane Austen's England)

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Very informative and compelling

While thousands of books exist regarding the regency from the heroine’s perspective, and a small minority of those discuss minority perspectives in the regency, this book gives clear examples of the true heroines of that age. Their life stories are fascinating, and obviously were source material for many of the characters we’ve become familiar with in fiction. Thank you for your fastidious research and concise descriptions of outrageously interesting lives of women.